Find out whether Nucky Thompson really installed Warren G. Harding as President of the United States or whether Nucky helped Arnold Rothstein avoid prosecution for the World Series fix.
By Matt Goldstein
Did Arnold Rothstein really mentor Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky?
Fact! While Luciano and Lansky were still street kids running local gangs, Arnold Rothstein was already a major national crime figure especially known for gambling. In fact, Rothstein gave them their start by introducing Lansky and Luciano to many of the key crime bosses they worked with for 30 years during their reign on top. Luciano openly admitted that Rothstein taught him how to dress, act and talk with members of high society. Rothstein continued advising the mafia phenoms until being murdered in 1926 for welching on a bet.
Fact! Nucky Thompson, A.K.A. Nucky Johnson and Arnold Rothstein had an excellent business relationship, while Nucky, Luciano, Lansky, Capone and Torrio continued working together for another 10-12 years.
Did Jimmy Darmody plan a hit on a main Chicago crime outfit?
Not a fact! Jimmy Darmody never existed.
Did bootleggers really put poison in the illegal liquor to help make a profit?
Fact! Thousands fell victim to blindness, paralysis and death, many of which were among the urban poor. Actually, there was a Russian vodka manufacturer that accidentally killed a few people in 2007.
Did all gangsters become millionaires from bootlegging illegal liquor during prohibition?
Yes and No. Many gangsters made millions, but many went flat broke from bribing police and politicians. At one point in fact, Lansky and Luciano scaled back their operation because the political payoffs became too expensive.
Did Arnold Rothstein really fix the 1919 World Series?
Maybe. Most people seem to think Rothstein was behind the fix but many historians believe former featherweight boxing champ Abe Atell played a more significant role. Atell was actually convicted and Rothstein was not. Arnold Rothstein denied fixing the World Series until his death. We may never know.
Fact! Commodore Kaestner, A.K.A. Louis Commodore Kuehnle, went to prison for awarding his own firm contracts while chairman of the Water Commission. The arrest was years in the making after a major investigation at the behest of President Woodrow Wilson.
Did Nucky Thompson really make a backdoor political deal to install Warren G. Harding as President of the United States?
Not a fact! NFW!
Did the D’Alessio Brothers rob the world famous original Bookbinders restaurant in Philadelphia and murder the staff?
Not a fact! However, the Lanzetti brothers from Philadelphia, who the D’Alessio brothers are based on, terrorized Atlantic City and Philadelphia for almost two decades. The Lanzetti brothers were a major crew.
Did Arnold Rothstein really pay Nucky Thompson $1 million to avoid prosecution for the World Series fix?
Who knows! But that scene in the finale of season one where Rothstein and Thompson make a deal was pretty freakin awesome.
Did a Hasidic Jewish man teach Al Capone how to act like an adult?
Probably not a fact. But a Jew did create this web site, and that is just as cool.
Boardwalk Empire Fact or Fiction: Nucky Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone